Finally, There's A Target Loyalty Program That Rewards You For Spending Way Too Much

by Kelsi Zimmerman
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It’s no secret that most people are guilty of overspending the second they walk into a Target store. But now, thanks to Target’s new Circle rewards program, you can get, well, rewarded for it. Beginning Oct. 6, Target will be launching the all-new Target Circle rewards program, which will offer 1% cash back on every purchase, along with a ton of other perks.

The way it works is like so: You enroll as a Target Circle member (totally free), and you start racking up points with each purchase you make at Target and on If you’re already enrolled in Target’s REDCard program or have a account, then you’ll automatically be enrolled as a Target Circle member. Even if you’re not already enrolled with the REDCard program or if you don't have an account, you can still join in on the new Target Circle program by simply creating a account or by giving your cashier your phone number when you go to check out at a physical store.

Now, if you're an avid Target shopper, then you're probably wondering what the difference between Target Circle, the REDCard program, and the Cartwheel program are. If that's true, then allow me to break it down for you.

For starters, every time you make a purchase as a Target Circle member, you'll get 1% of your total credited to your account to redeem later on future purchases. And while 1% may not sound like a lot, just think how easy it is to spend money in Target. You may as well start racking up savings in the process — no matter how big or little. Additionally, Target Circle members will also receive personalized deals and offers based on their past purchases, in addition to a birthday present.

The REDCard Program has two different options: You can choose to opt for the REDCard debit or the REDCard credit. The debit option links to your existing checking account, allows a cash withdrawal at (physical) checkout of up to $40, and you can view your transactions and manage your PIN number on The REDCard credit, however, allows you to charge your in-store and purchases to the card, you'll receive a monthly bill, and you can make payments and review statements on Additionally, every time you use your REDCard, you save 5% on your purchase. To top it off, Target REDCard holders are also offered exclusive deals on certain items, receive free two-day shipping on all purchases, and can take advantage of getting 30 extra days to return purchases.

Finally, there's the Cartwheel program. The Cartwheel program is operated through both the Cartwheel app and the Target app. The program is a discount program that offers anywhere from 5% to 50% off a selection of hundreds of items throughout the store. You can use the Cartwheel app to check for deals on anything from beauty products to clothes, to home goods, and even food. Once you check the app to see what is discounted and add your selects to cart, you simply show your cashier your app and have them scan your barcode to start racking up savings. Or, if you're opting to shop online, you can still take advantage of the Cartwheel app's savings if you you're doing a store pick-up or drive-up. Unfortunately, you can't use Cartwheel when you have your items shipped to you.

Basically, all three programs offer perks, but the REDCard program is an exclusive Target card, the Cartwheel program offers select discounts, and the new Target Circle program rewards you for spending. Phew. With all of the different perks and savings that Target now has to offer, you no longer have to feel guilty about spending more money than you anticipated... kind of.